In new health guidelines released by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) and Public Health England (PHE) in the UK, health experts recommend honey to treat a cough instead of antibiotics. This new and interesting approach is meant to reduce the reckless consumption of antibiotics which gave birth to superbugs.
The benefits of honey in treating a cough
“If someone has a runny nose, sore throat and cough we would expect a cough to settle over two to three weeks and antibiotics are not needed,” says Dr, Tessa Lewis.
Most of the substances from cough medications are also present in honey, these including pelargonium, guaifenesin, and dextromethorphan.
However, the experts warn, honey is ideal for mild symptoms. On the other hand, if you feel like your cough worsened or experience breathing difficulties, high fever, or your symptoms don’t fade away in a few days, you should consult a doctor.
Reckless antibiotic use and superbugs are a real concern
The new health guidelines in the UK come as a consequence of increasingly more cases of antibiotic-resistant bacteria (superbugs) which gained immunity to regular medications due to the reckless antibiotic use. Thus, the health experts warn that for mild conditions like a runny nose or soared throat, alternative therapies might be ideal to stop the emergence of new superbugs.
“Antibiotic resistance is a huge problem, and we need to take action now to reduce antibiotic use. Taking antibiotics when you don’t need them puts you and your family at risk of developing infections which in turn cannot be easily treated,” said Dr. Susan Hopkins, the deputy director at PHE.